For Andre Nel

I get it, man.  You aren’t the first person to find their life in complete shit and think that the easiest thing to do is suicide.

I’ve been there too.  It is shit, and once the darkness comes around it can be a hard thing to look past.  It gets in your mind and makes you think that there is only one way out, a simple clean solution that will end all the shit.

It does pass.

Obviously, I’ve never been involved in a public love scandal, or for that matter, a private one, so I’ll never know what it is like to be taken through the public ringer.  That said, everything passes.  The good and the bad.

This I have lived through, so if this news of your attempted suicide is for real, you need to think again.

Mistakes are to learn from, not to run from.  I’ve made a lot of them, but you get through it, and things are ok.  Not always great, but life isn’t a hallmark card, shit happens.

Cricket doesn’t need another player dead from his own hand.

And your soon to be born child will definitely need you.

Where you put your penis matters little to me as long as you stop short of the underage or animals.  That is for you and your family.  Your penis, as impressive as it may be, is no concern of mine.

I didn’t like your cricket because I assumed you were fidelity minded.

I liked it because you tried really hard.  You showed more effort than an entire generation of South Africans before you.  Every ball was a battle, every moment was important, and yet you still enjoyed yourself.  A crazy fucked up clown who could bowl for hours on end on the worst of days.  I, and more than a few others, loved it.

People like me equate cricket and life far too much, so I don’t see how someone who could bowl so many tough spells into the wind on flat tracks with a cheeky grin could then give up outside of cricket.  How can you be tough in front of millions, and fragile when on your own?

That is, ofcourse, complete bullshit.  Being tough on a cricket field has nothing to do with real life.  It is a shame though, because if you could reach any of that strength you showed on a cricket field I doubt you’d be where you are now.

Like you, I do know what it is like to run out of options, to feel like everything you have done is one big mistake, like you are cursed into stupid actions, to feel like there is only one solution, and that no matter how bad suicide is, that it will somehow erase everything before it.  That moment where hope of life ever getting better just doesn’t seem possible.

I’ve had moments where I’ve considered it, planned it, been seconds from doing it, but I’ve always stopped.

Not because I think suicide is wrong, or the easy option, or the selfish one, or even because my family would have been upset, but because suicide is just shit.

Sure, I get it for paedophiles, murderers, and poets trying to get famous.

For regular people, with regular problems (getting caught with your dick in the cookie jar is a pretty normal problem), suicide is a massive overreaction.

And a waste of time.

Sure your cricket career is almost over, and your marriage might never be saved, that is all shit, life doesn’t stop though, even if you stop your own.

You might find you have skill in acting (Gunter was one hell of a performance), you might write a book or host a radio show that brings people pleasure, hell, you might just become a property developer who donates money to charity or enjoy watching Julia Roberts’ films.  Anything is possible.

Had I quit life I would never have started cwb, got a wife, seen Donnie Darko, or experienced Sehwag make a 99* not out in Dambulla.

I can only speak for myself, Andre, but I think you can do better than suicide.

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16 thoughts on “For Andre Nel

  1. Menwhopause says:

    wonderful piece
    thank you jrod

  2. Prongle says:

    Superb writing jrod.

  3. IB says:

    Well said mate – as someone who lost someone close to suicide I think your piece is spot on

    Nel v Sreesanth was one of my favourite cricket moments in the last 10 years – will always bring a smile to my face. Neller has a lot to live for, hope he can sort his demons

  4. Hazel Potter says:

    This is something that a LOT of people should read. Thank you.

  5. […] http://www.cricketwithballs.com/2010/10/03/for-andre-nel/ Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)A bit mushyNumbers of Life AttitudeA New Beginning from → Cricket, Players ← Mohali Test: Day 3 The ECB working party → No comments yet Click here to cancel reply. […]

  6. Lizzy says:

    Fantastic piece Jarrod. Really excellent.

  7. luke says:

    Really great article..

  8. Jay says:

    Not wishing to be gushy hippy, but that was well said.

  9. ReddishShift says:

    Great piece of writing Jarrod. And you like Donny Darko too.

  10. knowledge_eater says:

    Brilliant emotional piece.

    Any social problem can be solved without this kind of distress. Deep down inside, personally, I feel because of failed social life, lot of criminals are born. Only way to fix that problem is to have mutual understanding and respect for each other. If we were to behave like animals, then we wouldn’t call ourself Humans. He was very emotional cricketer, as he must have been in his family life. Thus, we are seeing this day.

    I am still pissed at him, what would have happened if he was successful with suicide ? What his wife would have told to coming child. Putting pregnant lady with this kind of emotional stress is fucking horrible. Get your shit together. Andre. Being a monogamous is healthiest and best way to live life, which will not only help that particular family but also it will do lot good to coming generation as well.

  11. Surprised me to hear this news.

    Hopefully Andre will get plenty of support from the SA cricket board and get his life back on track. There is no need for him to have done this, he must have things in his life that are worth living for. but just didn’t realise it for a moment in time.

    I have experience of an in-law commiting suicide in a very horrible way and it is not nice to see what this leaves behind. Would never criticize though, the person in question had a lot to live for and in hindsight cleary wasn’t well.

    I don’t know if ICC or any of the individual boards have a department that deals with the dangers of cricketers doing this after finishing playing, or for other reasons such as this case.

    If not, it is high time they started to tackle this issue.

  12. Catsmeat says:

    Wow. Well said, jrod.

  13. Rishabh says:

    Cmon, this dude owns Brian Lara!

  14. This is plain tragic. Just shows the volatility inside Gunter/Nel’s brain. Hope he bounces back and commences trying to kill batsmen (figuratively) rather than himself (literally).

  15. kny789 says:

    Well said Jrod, the part about liking Nel because he was a cricketer who always tried his hardest resonates particularly because I think it’s the reason we all had a soft spot for him. Here’s hoping he’s given the right support to get himself and his family back together in this situation.

  16. poopsie says:

    If he didnt think about killing himself when his sister was dating Fat Jacques, why now? Surely that would have been much more disturbing

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